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List of some third party vectorization & tracing tools


v_kyr
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Vectorization and autotracing software for Win + Macs:

Online tracing tools:

Online centerline supporting tracing tools:

iPad tracing tools:

Some forum threads about tool based bitmap tracing/vectorization:

☛ Affinity Designer 1.10.5 ◆ Affinity Photo 1.10.5 ◆ OSX El Capitan

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  • 2 weeks later...
10 hours ago, veles said:

It's extremely niche, but I've used Rasterbator (  https://rasterbator.net/  ) for several large-scale projects.

Well that's more for halftone based poster creation, instead of vectorization/tracing images/graphics into plain vector curves.

☛ Affinity Designer 1.10.5 ◆ Affinity Photo 1.10.5 ◆ OSX El Capitan

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  • 2 months later...

Vector Q is available on Mac, too.

It showed me a 0€ in app purchase option to the pro version (which you need for export). Can’t say if this is for all users, or AppStore uses my purchase from iPad even for Mac.

Mac mini M1 A2348

LG34WK950U-W, calibrated to DCI-P3 with LG Calibration Studio / Spider 5

iPad Air Gen 5 (2022) A2589

Special interest into procedural texture filter, edit alpha channel, RGB/16 and RGB/32 color formats, stacking, finding root causes for misbehaving files, finding creative solutions for unsolvable tasks, finding bugs in Apps.

 

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On 9/2/2022 at 7:16 PM, v_kyr said:

Intaglio Vectorize (free to use, Mac)

Interesting!
I've had Intaglio since many years although I've rarely used it, mostly for converting those truly antique classic Mac documents in vector PICT fromat. But I didn't know about this plugin. 
It's gone from purgatorydesign.com but you can still download it from web.archive.org/web/20190313084538/purgatorydesign.com/Vectorize/Vectorize-Plugin.zip

 

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I’ve had excellent results on iPad with an app called Vectorize!
Very easy to use and capable of high detail when vectorising photos. Don’t know price as I got it on a free offer years ago.

IPad Pro 10.5/512GB   lpadOS 16.2 Apple Pencil (1st gen), Affinity Photo 1.10.5 Affinity Design 1.10.5 Affinity Publisher 2, Affinity Designer 2, Affinity Photo 2

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 11/21/2022 at 2:24 PM, loukash said:

The tracing feature is rather rudimentary but better than nothing.

It‘s nothing earth shaking and so more on the simple to use side. Similar as most other on Potrace and Autotrace based frontend/tracing tools too. Though the later (autotrace) in contrast supports color & centerline tracing.

☛ Affinity Designer 1.10.5 ◆ Affinity Photo 1.10.5 ◆ OSX El Capitan

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New addition to the list:

  • VectorStyler

I bought it last week while it's currently on sale, and it's got a Trace panel. (Is it new? I don't remember if it already was in the public beta.)
My favorite feature about VS is: it's still El Capitan compatible!

Experimenting with it as I type this:

  • Many options, a bunch of presets. 
  • Hm. Got stuck while attempting to trace the PNG version of my logo (as in my avatar here).
    Had to quit the app and start over, also adjusted some Performace preferences that may conflict with El Capitan ("Metal", obviously). 
    No idea how to actually expand the traced vector shapes, the Expand button is grayed out. Or how to see the actual nodes. (RTFM I guess? Nah… :P
  • So I just copied the monolithic traced object over to Designer… and voilà, here are my shapes and nodes.
  • Depending on the trace settings, it may need some minor cleaning but the result is not all that shabby.
  • Test passed.

(As every so often with those Featuritis™ laden apps: I get tired of it quickly because I don't know where to start when there's an option for literally every aspect of the app, down to some obscure binary data compression formats in the document preferences. Here I praise Serif's courage not to implement everything they could be implementing. Focus is a Good Thing™.)

Above test result in VS:

image.png.56327e0d19a9dd831d8ef03316aaac10.png

And copied to ADe:

ade_vs_trace_bitmap_logo_copied.png.d5929680e593de68e1d7448935a0f7a5.png

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20 minutes ago, AdamStanislav said:

What’s El Capitan???

Very old macOS release, as I recall.

-- Walt

Desktop:  Windows 11 Home, version 21H2 (22000.613) 64GB memory, AMD Ryzen 9 5900 12-Core @ 3.00 GHz, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3090 
Laptop:  Windows 10 Home, version 21H2 (19044.1706) 32GB memory, Intel Core i7-10750H @ 2.60GHz, Intel UHD Graphics Comet Lake GT2 and NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 Laptop GPU.
        Affinity Photo 1.10.6 (.1665) and 2.0..3  and 2.0.3.1670 beta/ Affinity Designer 1.10.6 (.1665)  and 2.0.3 and 2.0.3.1670 beta / Affinity Publisher 1.10.6 (.1665)  and 2.0.3 and 2.0.3.1670 beta
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      Affinity Photo 1.10.6 and 2.0.3 / Affinity Designer 1.10.6 and 2.0.3 / Affinity Publisher 2.0.3

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10 hours ago, loukash said:

New addition to the list:

  • VectorStyler

I bought it last week while it's currently on sale, and it's got a Trace panel. (Is it new? I don't remember if it already was in the public beta.)
My favorite feature about VS is: it's still El Capitan compatible!

It has vectorization/tracing capabilities since some recent version time now, but initially it didn‘t had. Offering backwards support until El Capitan is valuable and something I personally would vote as a plus here!

Though on the other side in order for just tracing bitmap/raster images, there are other much cheaper commercial and also a bunch of quite good freeware tracing tools available.

Thus I won‘t place VS directly to the above list, since otherwise would have to add Illustrator & CorelDraw etc. too there then, since all or most of those vector graphics tools have and offer the one or other tracing facilities.

My personal most used tracer (beside my own coded tracing tool) is not VS but instead SV … 😉

☛ Affinity Designer 1.10.5 ◆ Affinity Photo 1.10.5 ◆ OSX El Capitan

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  • 1 month later...

I just stumbled upon the freebie Image2Vector on the Mac App Store. It's a bit old, supposedly even Lion compatible. But it works on Catalina, at least with relatively small images:
apps.apple.com/app/image2vector-converts-images-to-vector-graphics/id1042548577
It may crash on larger images, it looks like a memory leak.

Also not listed yet is Vectornator for Mac, also freebie:
apps.apple.com/app/vectornator-vector-design-art/id1219074514
In v3.x it can just "auto trace" with no settings as far as I can tell.
v4 for Mac has a Trace settings panel but I cannot install it because it requires Big Sur.
In general I find the app awkward to use on Mac. I have played with it on iPad before, but wasn't much impressed either. (I guess there's a reason that we have affinity for Affinity, huh?)

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13 minutes ago, loukash said:

I just stumbled upon the freebie Image2Vector on the Mac App Store ...

I know that one and it's sadly very buggy, it also doesn't generate on export correct SVG code, thus it's not recomended and not on the list. - Meaning, that I deliberately don't recommend everything and thus didn't included every existing crap here too.

☛ Affinity Designer 1.10.5 ◆ Affinity Photo 1.10.5 ◆ OSX El Capitan

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12 hours ago, loukash said:

On a quick test, PDF export looked usable to me. Good enough for an old freebie. Haven't tried SVG.

Yes, though as you discovered yourself, It sometimes crashes on larger images and for sure has in such situations somewhere a memory leak then.

BTW, I've once tested mostly all availble (...opensource + commercial, cmdline + GUI based...) MacOS (>= El Capitan) vectorization tools. - And IMO the best stand alone ones so far in sum up are ...

  • Super Vectorizer 2  (commercial, MacOS only)
  • Vector Magic  (commercial, Win + MacOS)
  • vtracer (free portable cmdline tracer, all platforms)

... some others are quite good usable too (like potrace & autotrace) but won't be as easy to use for plain cmdline inexperienced users. Most other things are just GUI frontends which do use and execute an underlined potrace & autotrace. - Using another full blown vector app (Illustrator, Corel Draw, Inkscape, VectorStyler ... etc.) is another workaround, though not offering the quickest turnarounds for bitmap to vector vectorization/tracing at all here. For the quickest turnarounds on a Mac, I would recommend Super Vectorizer 2 (SV2), which is pretty fast, versatile in terms of all sort of vectorization and produces good results. SV2 is often available cheap(er) via AppStore "Two Dollar Tuesdays" and some third party "lifetime deal" offers.

☛ Affinity Designer 1.10.5 ◆ Affinity Photo 1.10.5 ◆ OSX El Capitan

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13 minutes ago, v_kyr said:

as you discovered yourselve, It sometimes crash on larger images

Meanwhile I also tested on El Capitan with the same large TIFF image that would crash it on Catalina: no memory leak, no other serious problems noticed.
So the main issue with Image2Vector appears to be the lack of optimization for recent MacOS versions.
Other than that, since there's no documentation, you just have to figure out by trial and error what the parameters will do. There's a preview button so it's possible to find out the optimal setting before exporting.
That still makes it an easy to use tool for me on El Capitan.
Ultimately easier to use than e.g. VectorStyler which actually has serious issues to stay stable on El Capitan; although that's not necessarily unexpected, given that primarily it must be compatible with Ventura as well. I expect El Capitan support being dropped from VectorStyler pretty soon.

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35 minutes ago, loukash said:

Ultimately easier to use than e.g. VectorStyler which actually has serious issues to stay stable on El Capitan; although that's not necessarily unexpected, given that primarily it must be compatible with Ventura as well. I expect El Capitan support being dropped from VectorStyler pretty soon.

Sooner or later all actualized/updated apps won't support older MacOS versions (like El Capitan, Sierra/High Sierra, Mojave, Catalina) at all. - Also the actual trend for most actual and new MacOS apps goes to Apple Silicon (arm architecture) apps, meaning that one sooner or later also has to migrate her/his Apple hardware over to the new Apple silicon one and so MacOS version support accordingly. The Intel Hardware & MacOS support will probably be given up (abandoned) in the near future ...

☛ Affinity Designer 1.10.5 ◆ Affinity Photo 1.10.5 ◆ OSX El Capitan

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On 9/2/2022 at 7:16 PM, v_kyr said:

iPad tracing tools:

Vector Q freebie is also available in the Mac App Store for Catalina & above: 
apps.apple.com/app/vector-q/id1448103717
Has a pretty impressive set of presets and is fast.
Apart from the "vectorizer", as a vector editor at appears to be rather rudimentary: I haven't seen anything else that couldn't be done in Affinity v2 by some means.
Exchange with Affinity possible only via PDF/SVG export.
But the vectorizer results are not shabby.
This is from a mere 600×600 px image, on the left the placed original, on the right Vector Q's interpretation using my own "ultra pure vector" preset, exported via PDF:

ade_vectorq_vectorizer_defunkt.thumb.png.66e67379711ae4bc7abb270d79e73570.png

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